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Area
Employer
Information/Strategies

Corporate and Public Finance

  • Financial Analysis
  • Cash Management
  • Credit Management
  • Budget Analysis
  • Investment Management
  • Investor Relations
  • Financial Reporting
  • Payroll
  • Benefits
  • Real Estate
  • Risk Management
  • Private businesses of all sizes and types
  • State and local government entities
  • Federal agencies including:
    • Internal Revenue Service
    • Treasury Department
  • Schools and universities
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Foundations
  • Hospitals
  • Complete a finance-related internship to build skills and learn about the work environment.
  • Seek leadership roles in campus organizations such as treasurer.
  • Develop strong computer skills, including spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.
  • Sharp analytical skills are crucial in this industry.
  • Earn an MBA to reach the highest levels of corporate finance.
  • Learn another language to prepare for international opportunities.


Banking

  • Corporate Credit Analysis
  • Commercial and Industrial Lending
  • Trust and Private Wealth Management
  • Capital Services and Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Mortgage Loans
  • Loan Origination and Packaging
  • Branch Management
  • Operations
  • Cash Management
  • Credit Scoring and Risk Management
  • Financial Analysis
  • Private Banking
  • Commercial banks
  • Credit unions
  • Savings and loan associations
  • Savings banks
  • Mortgage banks
  • Captive finance companies
  • Regulatory agencies including:
    • Federal Reserve
    • Federal Deposit Corporation
    • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
    • Office Thrift Supervision
  • Gain a solid background in business including marketing and accounting.
  • Get experience through part-time, summer, or internship positions in a financial service firm.
  • Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills in order to work well with a diverse clientele.


Insurance

  • Claims Analysis
  • Underwriting
  • Risk Management
  • Sales
  • Actuarial Science
  • Loss Control
  • Life insurance firms
  • Property and casualty insurance firms
  • Commercial banks
  • Savings banks
  • Complete an internship with an insurance agency.
  • Talk to professionals in the industry to learn more about claims, underwriting, and risk management. Many good, entry-level positions exist in these areas.
  • Initiative and sales ability are necessary to be a successful agent or broker.
  • Develop strong communication skills, as many positions require interaction with others and the ability to explain information clearly and concisely.
  • Take additional statistics classes to prepare for a career in actuary science. Prepare to take the first in a series of actuarial examinations.


Personal Financial Planning

  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Operations
  • Portfolio Management
  • Financial Advising
  • Insurance Advising
  • Brokerage firms
  • Trust companies
  • Financial partnerships
  • Multi-line insurance firms
  • Sole practitioners
  • Gain experience in sales.
  • Demonstrate a highly motivated and entrepreneurial personality.
  • Research how one obtains the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.
  • Develop a solid personal network.


Real Estate

  • Residential Brokerage
  • Commercial Sales
  • Appraisals
  • Property Management
  • Real Estate Portfolio Management
  • Real estate brokers
  • Commercial banks
  • Appraisal firms
  • Apartment and condominium complexes
  • Developers
  • Large corporations: real estate departments
  • Real estate investment trusts
  • Mutual funds
  • Obtain sales experience through part-time, summer or internship positions.
  • Research how to become a real estate broker through the National Association of Realtors.
  • Develop an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Research apprenticeships in appraisal.


Investment Banking

  • Corporate Financial Analysis
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Equity and Debt
  • Underwriting
  • Institutional Bond and Equity Sales
  • Retail Bond and Equity Sales
  • Business Valuation
  • Business Sale Transactions
  • Currency Trading
  • Derivatives, e.g. options
  • Trading
  • Venture Capital Fund Management
  • New Venture Analysis
  • Hedge Fund Management
  • Investment banking firms
    (Changes in laws have created a fluid situation in this industry; Mergers and acquisitions continue to take place.)
  • Financial services firms
  • Insurance firms
    (The Gramm Leach Bliley Act of 1999 allowed financial services firms to acquire or build investment banking subsidiaries and vice versa.)
  • Commercial banks (Due to shifts in federal regulations, more commercial banks are adding investment activity.)
  • An MBA is required to move beyond the entry-level analyst position in investment banking. Investment banking is highly competitive.
  • Be prepared to work many hours of overtime per week, start at the bottom, and pay your dues.
  • Develop strong analytical and communication skills.
  • Cultivate personal ambitiousness.
  • Join a campus-based investment club.
  • Obtain a Series 7 License for both institutional and retail broker sales positions.
  • Work toward the CFA designation.


Money Management

  • Research
  • Trading
  • Marketing
  • Portfolio Management
  • Hedge Fund Management
  • Portfolio management firms
  • Commercial banks
  • Investment banks
  • Federal Reserve banks
  • Insurance firms
  • Most positions require an advanced degree in economics, finance or business and many years of financial experience.


Accounting

Corporate or Government Including:

  • Financial Management
  • Financial Reporting
  • Cost Accounting
  • Tax Planning
  • Research
  • Companies of various sizes, in all industries
  • Federal agencies and departments including:
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • Internal Revenue Service
    • Department of the Treasury
    • Office of Management and Budget
    • Securities Exchange Commission
  • State and local agencies
  • Sometimes opportunities in accounting exist in government and corporate settings for finance students.
  • Take more than the required amount of accounting classes to supplement finance curriculum.
  • Maintain a strong GPA.
  • Complete an internship in a government agency and become familiar with the government application process to work in the public sector.


General Information and Strategies

  • Quantitative skills are extremely important in finance. Take additional courses in math, statistics, and accounting.
  • Many positions in finance require the ability to analyze and interpret data.
  • Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills. Cultivate an eye for detail.
  • Gain experience through internships, summer and part-time positions.
  • Read the Wall Street Journal and other financial news magazines to stay abreast of current events and to learn more about the industry.
  • Join student professional associations in the field of finance and seek leadership roles.
  • Several professional designations and licenses, e.g. Chartered Financial Analyst or Certified Financial Planner, are available to finance professionals working in a particular area. Earning these designations may help one obtain advanced positions.